Perhaps, when I think of that line, I think it means, “Someday, Barbie is totally marrying Ken, and they are going to live happily ever after.” At least I used to. Actually, I always wanted to be PJ, who was the equally gorgeous, brunette girl, and couldn’t figure out why Barbie always had to deal with her Malibu Stacy cousin. (Did her parents die? Is Stacy, Barbie’s illegitimate sister?) Whatever.
I’m not saying there aren’t lives where people were married for 1000 years and then a prophecy was fulfilled. I’m just saying that in all likelihood, NO. Not only am I not an expert in marriage, I am SPECTACULARLY bad at picking candidates. Remember that whole thing where it is said that some people are meant to be there forever, and some are meant to be for a season? That sometimes we mistake which is which, and end up shackled to the guy who was only supposed to take care of the yardwork for a year, not your entire life. I’m THAT woman, who picks the seasonal worker, instead of the long haul guy.
After the last debacle of a marriage I somehow convinced myself was right to get into, despite the fact I broke up with him two years before the next go round, (yes, you MAY stamp dumbass on my forehead,) I’m not meant to be a doormat. I’m terrible at it. I’ll go along because it makes the person happy, and eventually, I realize, it doesn’t matter WHAT I do – I CANNOT FIX COLLOSSAL ASSHOLE. I think he is probably from the planet Vindictiva, and he and his lovely wife think I am the biggest BITCH on the planet. (Wow. My friends should introduce yourselves to them sometime. They might realize I’m barely keeping pace over here! 😉 )
It doesn’t boil down to just romantic relationships. I have now passed my 4th year where I have not wished my mother a happy birthday. My father died, and no-one bothered to tell me, even though it had been less than a year since I had seen him. My mother’s brother essentially told me I was a piece of crap and not worthy of being a part of that family. Oh, yes, and my brother, the forgiving and kind and sometimes ginormic, pretentious asshole, feels the same way.
So, once upon a time might be a terrific way to start a story. How it ends, is rarely “happily ever after.” People argue, and disagree, and act nutty, and sometimes decide that respecting another’s feelings isn’t worth it, or lessens the pride they feel when they “didn’t give in.” Sometimes those things are fixable; often they are not.
That isn’t to say that there isn’t a whole lot of joy in the world. Even stubborn people can say they’re sorry and give hugs that say everything that words cannot. I take pride, joy, laughter and satisfaction in all of my friends’ accomplishments and their family joys. I also am always there when sorrow steals a bit of their souls.
Most of you know, I have had a few setbacks physically this past year. Everybody’s setbacks mean something, so there isn’t any use in comparing this type of stroke to that kind of compound fracture, or any of the above nonsense.
The point of this for me is that despite the fact that logically we KNOW in our heads that life isn’t a fairy tale, it can be, if I just remember not to react to my equally stubborn other half (you know the deal – you know how to push each other’s buttons, and there are times when very mean things are said) and keep TRYING to learn to live the life I’ve been given AND made, then maybe… just maybe:
I’ll keep remembering that my family is one of my choosing. My other half is not perfect, and neither am I (shoosh, I already know). If we can appreciate each other for all the things that make us “US” and drew each other to one another in the first place, we CAN have happily ever after.
P.S. It just might not want to be the fairy tale you read to anyone until they are far old enough to understand.